Why the Kavanagh's should have used collaborative lawyers
Mr and Mrs Kavanagh, both lawyers, managed to squander their £3,000,000 fortune in disputes about their three children and the financial aspects of their separation. Whilst married for just 10 years, they then spent 5 years litigating and their combined legal costs were said to be £900,000!
In a survey commissioned by Resolution in August 2012, 45% of Respondents thought “most divorces involve a visit to Court” and 40% agreed with the statement that “divorces can never be without conflict”. The vast majority agreed that children’s interests should come first.
The specialist family lawyers at Anthony Gold do not only offer legal advice and representation in Court. We provide a full range of dispute resolution skills including mediation and collaborative law.
Many separating couples prefer to attempt to negotiate issues relating to children or financial affairs with the assistance of a mediator so that their respective lawyers play a cost effective, supportive role – very much in the background. The mediator may also be an experienced family lawyer (in the writer’s view this is essential in more complex financial cases). The advantage of mediation is that there will usually be just one mediator so the costs can be shared between the couple.
Some lawyers will have trained as collaborative lawyers which is very different from the traditional process. Here both parties instruct a collaborative lawyer so that each has the benefit of legal advice. However, the lawyers have a wholly different role which is supportive of the couple and child focused. Decisions are negotiated at round table meetings and the couple and the lawyers agree not to go through the Court system unless negotiations breakdown totally. The couple dictate the timetable and the agenda. Where appropriate, other professionals such as child development specialists, accountants and actuaries are involved in the process, receiving joint instructions from the lawyers and this in itself reduces costs.